KUALA KRAI, June 5 — Frequent heavy rainfall and soil erosion have contributed to Lata Y waterfall’s muddy and murky condition, said Kelantan Forestry Department (JPNK) director Abdul Khalim Abu Samah.
He said based on JPNK’s checks and investigation, it was found that Lata Y waterfall turned murky and muddy due to heavy rainfall upstream which caused soil erosion, as well as forestry activities.
Abdul Khalim was commenting on pictures of murky Lata Y waterfall which went viral after being uploaded on the ‘Kuala Krai Kini’ Facebook account on June 1, claiming that the once pristine waterfall was polluted due to logging activities in the Sungai Rek Forest Reserve, Kuala Krai.
Understandably, the pictures received mixed reaction and inevitably caused public anger, especially among nature lovers.
He said after the inspection was done on June 3, the department also found that the water condition in the Lata Y area had improved and the licensee had complied with the EIA conditions.
“A check at the area also found that license holder, Syarikat Alyaras Resources Sdn Bhd, had complied with all the conditions stipulated in the approved EIA report such as not engaging in tree felling activities in the 50 metres of the river buffer zone area. The company even added another 10 metres to protect the buffer zone area by not doing any tree felling,” he said.
However, Abdul Khalim said JPNK had instructed the licensee to halt any activities and to plant legumes to prevent further erosion.
“The department has also held discussions with the state government to gazette the area as a water catchment area. JPNK intends to gazette any sensitive area in the Sungai Rek Permanent Forest Reserve as water catchment areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, a check by Bernama at the location found that the Lata Y waterfall’s condition has improved.
Mukim Mengkebang penghulu, Abdullah Mustafa, 47, when met, said that apart from heavy rainfall at the location, he also admitted that the murky water was the result of forestry activities.
“When it rains, the water from the forestry activities areas will flow down causing the water to become murky. However, it will eventually return to normal once the rain stops.
“I really hope all parties will continue to look after the beauty of Lata Y waterfall,” he said. — Bernama